PA: Westmoreland County buck may be a record

Greensburg, Pa. – Scott Fassinger's long-term goal is a big one: He wants to shoot the next world-record white-tailed deer.

That's a tall task, he admits. And he should know. He's taken lots of record-book deer, so he knows what they look like.

The resident of Upper Burrell in Westmoreland County has killed 13 bucks big enough to be worthy of mounting, put one in the Boone & Crockett Club record book, two in the Pennsylvania Game Commission record book and has two in the Pope & Young record book and three more pending.

All but two of those deer were taken in Pennsylvania.

"Anyone who's gotten that many whitetails in the book, especially for deer largely from Pennsylvania, that's pretty special," said Glenn Hisey, director of the records program for Pope & Young.

"There are some other places, like Kansas, Iowa or Illinois, with more big bucks, where hunters have a better chance of putting multiple deer in the book. But for Pennsylvania, that's unique."

It's Fassinger's latest deer that will likely be his biggest yet. He shot it on Halloween morning after dropping his children off at daycare.

"The weather just seemed perfect, the wind was perfect, and I thought, ‘I should be in the woods today,'"he said. "So I called my boss and told him to put me in for a vacation day because I was hunting.

"I just had a feeling."

A good one, obviously. Hunting in Lower Burrell, Fassinger shot a 15-point beauty.

He'd caught a glimpse of the deer just once before. He'd never even gotten its picture on a trail camera. But the area where he took it is one of a dozen that he regularly hunts, all because he's scouted and hunted them heavily in the past.

This spot, like those others, is one that he knew held big deer.

"All of the hard work I put in in the past really paid off for me this year," he said.

Still, he didn't know just how big this buck really was.

"Usually you have ground shrinkage. You shoot something and walk up to it and it's smaller than you thought," Fassinger said.

"This one was even bigger than I thought. I about passed out when I saw it. I was really excited."

Using a software program, Fassinger and a taxidermist friend green-scored the buck at 190 points.

The state record for a typical whitetail taken with a bow is a deer killed in 2004 in Allegheny County by Michael Nicola Sr. of Waterford. It scored 1782⁄8.

It's too early to say if Fassinger's deer will surpass that, said Bob D'Angelo, coordinator of the Game Commission's big-game records program. The rack has to dry for 60 days before it can be officially scored; typically, antlers lose 1 percent of their mass during that period.

A look at Fassinger's deer in a photo suggests there may be some deductions, specifically for its double brow tines, that will take away from the final score, D'Angelo added.

"But it's definitely a dandy buck," D'Angelo said. "It might very well be number two in the archery category or at least in the top five. I'll be looking forward to seeing the score sheet come across my desk."

Fassinger will wait to see how his buck fares. But he's got high hopes it will take over the top spot, or at least challenge it.

"He could be a contender, I'm sure. He's my biggest one yet," he said. "It would be really great to get the record."

Categories: Hunting News, News Archive, Whitetail Deer

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